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Nordic music biz reveals Top 20 under 30 list for 2021

The fourth annual Nordic Music Biz Top 20 under 30 list has been revealed, honouring the ‘young forces driving the Nordic music industry forward’.

According to organsiers Nomex (Nordic Music Export), the winners were chosen by a panel of 15 judges from the Nordic music industry, based on “company growth, career path, recognition in the industry, influence in the industry in 2020, artistic development, innovation, concert revenues, sales, streaming, campaigns, radio and television publicity”.

This year’s Nordic Music Biz Top 20 under 30 list comprises:

Nina Finnerud, head of UK at Music Norway, commented on the list: “With the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen that the recruitment of young people into the music industry is more important than ever.

“It’s crucial to show the new generation of managers, labels, agents, festivals etc that it is a safe and rewarding industry to work in and choose as a career. It is also vital to make sure the artists have talented people to work with them and look out for their best interest in the future.”

This year’s Nordic Music Biz Top 20 under 30 will be honoured with a ceremony during by:Larm festival in Olso, Norway, on the 30 September.

Nomex was set up to facilitate growth and development in the Nordic music sector, and is a collaborative organisation set up by Export Music Sweden, Music Export Denmark, Music Finland, Iceland Music Export and Music Norway.

 


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Sweden’s TADC expands to Norway and Denmark

Swedish promoter Triffid and Danger Concerts has rebranded as TADC and opened offices in Norway and Denmark.

The company, formed in 2015 by the merger of Edward Janson’s Triffid Productions and Chris Rotenius’s Danger Music & Media, promotes more than 300 concerts a year in Scandinavia, as well as festivals such as Gefle Metal Festival and Atlas Rock in Gävle and the summer series Rock På Skansen in Stockholm.

“When we started the company six years ago our focus was on rock and metal,” says Rotenius. “In the future we will broaden our focus, and the change of name is a logical step, even though rock music will still be close to our hearts.”

In Norway, the business will be run alongside Jon Enger of Live Wire Concerts. TADC says it will launch a festival and summer concert series in Norway over the next few years.

“During the last couple of years the company has grown quickly and it feels like the right step to have a presence in Norway and Denmark as well,” says Janson. “We are looking forward to a lot of successful shows in all three countries.”

 


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Norway plans full reopening for September

Norway has announced plans to relax all restrictions before the end of September, by which point its adult population should have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Norwegian society will have to live with the fact that we have this virus, as we live with other infectious diseases,” minister of health, Bent Høie, told VG.

“We cannot eliminate the risk completely, as we cannot with other diseases. This means that some will also become seriously ill and die of Covid-19 after we have finished the vaccination and society has reopened.”

Prime minister Erna Solberg added that Norway, unlike other markets, would not be introducing a corona pass to aid reopening.

“In other countries, corona pass is used as a lure for people to be vaccinated. We do not need Norway, because most people are positive about vaccination,” says the prime minister, who pointed out that, by the end of this week, everyone over the age of 18 will have been offered one vaccine dose.

The prime minister added that Norway, unlike other markets, would not be introducing a corona pass to aid reopening

The news of reopening comes weeks after Norway postponed the final step in the reopening of its economy for a second time, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Until then, events without designated seating can take place with a maximum of 1,500 people (previously 1,000) indoors and 3,000 people (previously 2,000) outdoors. The audience must be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

Events with designated seating can take place with a maximum of 3,000 (previously 2,500) indoors and 7,000 people (previously 5,000) outdoors. These events must also be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

The reopening comes too late for many Norwegian festivals including Live Nation-owned festivals BergenfestTons of Rock and Findings, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Festningen, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival, which have already been called off.

 


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Norway makes it “impossible” for festivals to go ahead

Norway has postponed the final step in the reopening of its economy for a second time, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

The government in April launched a four-step plan to gradually remove most pandemic restrictions, and had completed the first three of those steps by mid-June.

Initially, the government’s plan was to restrict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August and 10,000 thereafter.

This prompted the cancellation of Live Nation-owned festivals Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival.

However, after the first delay to the final step of the roadmap, the government increased capacity limits for public events using Covid-19 certification and rapid testing.

A new assessment will be made in mid-August but prime minister Erna Solberg predicts Norway will fully reopen this autumn

As of 8 July, events without designated seating can take place with a maximum of 1,500 people (previously 1,000) indoors and 3,000 people (previously 2,000) outdoors. The audience must be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

Events with designated seating can take place with a maximum of 3,000 (previously 2,500) indoors and 7,000 people (previously 5,000) outdoors. These events must also be divided into 500-capacity cohorts and the venue’s capacity cannot exceed 50%.

One of the last major Norwegian festivals left – Festningen (The Fortress Festival) in Trondheim – was cancelled yesterday, as organisers said the postponement of the final step had made it “impossible” to go ahead.

A new assessment will be made in mid-August but prime minister Erna Solberg predicts Norway will fully reopen this autumn, provided more residents are vaccinated.

About 80% of adults in Norway have received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 41% of adults are fully vaccinated, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Thanks to an early lockdown in March 2020 and tight restrictions that followed, the nation of 5.4 million people has seen one of Europe’s lowest rates of mortality from the virus.

 


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Sky Festivals acquires Norway’s Stavernfestivalen

Sky Festivals, the largest festival owner in Norway, has acquired Stavernfestivalen, the country’s most popular music festival, which has taken place near the city of Larvik since 2001.

Stavernfestivalen, which moved to its current home at the Larvik Golf Arena in 2015, welcomed more than 80,000 guests across three days in 2019, with revenue of more than €10 million. Sky Festivals already owned 50% of the event, and has now acquired the remaining 50% of shares from festival founder Roger Albin.

Past performers at Stavernfestivalen include Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Kygo, Neil Young, Sting, Bob Dylan, Roxette, David Guetta, Pharrell Williams and Alan Walker.

“We are determined to make Stavern 2022 the biggest and best version ever”

Sky Festivals – part of Sky Agency – adds Stavernfestivalen to a festival portfolio that also includes the 20,000-capacity Findings Festival in Oslo (co-owned with Live Nation); Festningen (18,000-cap.) in Trondheim; Utopia (12,000-cap.) in Stavanger; Landstreff Fredriksten (10,000- cap.) in Halden; and Idyllfestivalen (15,000-cap.) in Fredrikstad.

“We strongly believe in the Norwegian festival market for the years to come, and Stavern is a very strong brand that we really feel we can on keep growing in the future,” says Trond Opsahl, Sky Festivals co-founder (with Christoffer Huse), CEO and festival booker. “We are determined to make Stavern 2022 the biggest and best version ever.”

Stavernfestivalen returns for its 20th anniversary next summer. At press time, only festivals of up to 5,000 people are allowed in Norway, even with rapid testing, and must be divided into groups of just 500.

 


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Nordic test shows: Too little, too late?

After effectively ruling out the 2021 festival season, the governments in Denmark and Norway are now in the process of organising large-scale test events to determine how big gatherings can take place during the pandemic.

According to Denmark’s live association, Dansk Live, such experiments were proposed in December 2020 and also in March 2021 by the government-backed ‘Restart Team’.

Both proposals were “kicked to the corner by the authorities,” according to Dansk Live’s Esben Marcher, but it seems that Denmark’s minister of culture has had a late change of heart.

This week, minister Joy Mogensen asked the government’s Restart Team to assess the possibilities of conducting experiments with large events this summer.

The minister’s request comes three weeks after the government’s roadmap was published, which stated that a maximum of 2,000 participants will be permitted at festivals between 21 May and 1 August 2021.

The announcement was followed by a raft of cancellations from 15+ festivals including Roskilde (26 June to 3 July), Smukfest (4–8 August), Northside (3–5 June) and Tinderbox (24–26 June) – rendering the country’s 2021 festival season over.

“The hope was that knowledge could be created that could ensure better opportunities for this summer’s events”

While Dansk Live’s Marcher has welcomed the news of potential test concerts, he also expresses disappointment that large-scale pilots weren’t approved earlier in the year.

“Already at the end of 2020, we proposed to the minister of culture that experiments be carried out in events that bring many people together,” he says.

“The hope was that knowledge could be created that could ensure better opportunities for this summer’s events. Although it is positive that there now seems to be support for making trial arrangements, it is, of course, a pity that there has been no political will to launch trials in the past.”

The Norwegian government has also shown little political will to organise test concerts up to this point – though, after some uncertainty, this morning the cabinet finally approved a pilot series proposed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The institute is planning five test concerts in Bergen and Oslo with up to 5,000 people attending each one. As previously reported in IQ, 15,000 participants will be recruited for a control group and will not actually attend the concerts.

The series is expected to kick off in June and concerts will take place in a number of venues including Oslo Spektrum and Grieg Hall in Bergen.

The Nowegian government this morning approved a pilot series proposed by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

The research project will investigate whether the risk of the spread of infection is reduced to such an extent that rapid testing can replace the distance requirement during events.

Bergen Live, Øya festival, Palmesus and other Norwegian concert organisers will be involved in the test events – many of which were forced to cancel festivals due to the government’s preliminary guidelines, which restrict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August and 10,000 thereafter.

Live Nation-owned festivals Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival among events have been cancelled since.

Compared with other countries in the northern hemisphere, Norway and Denmark have been slow off the mark with arranging test shows.

Germany began conducting test shows as far back as August 2020, with Restart-19, prompting other nations including Spain, France, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium and Luxembourg, to follow suit. See an extensive timeline of pilot projects here.

While the test shows haven’t necessarily guaranteed the security of the 2021 festival season – many of the aforementioned markets have already seen the summer season obliterated due to government restrictions – nations like the UK are surging towards a full reopening thanks to reassuring results from the government’s Events Research Programme.

 


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Natural Resources to help you go greener

Whether you’re looking for environmental consultation to make your event greener or accreditation to show off your sustainability, below are a slate of organisations around the world dedicated to improving and verifying the sustainability of the events sector.

These organisations provide knowledge, resources, and best practice for event organisers, artists, suppliers and vendors – meaning that the first step towards a more sustainable sector doesn’t have to be the hardest.

 


Australia
Sustainable Event Alliance
Based in New South Wales but with partners all over the globe, the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA) unites live events professionals who are focused on improving the sustainability of the sector. In addition to its online knowledge bank, the SEA’s activities include accrediting sustainability professionals, helping events become greener, and providing spaces for networking and discussion.

Germany
GO Group
Green Operations Europe, known as GO Group, is a pan-European think tank that aims to inspire industry professionals to make their operations greener, smarter, and more sustainable. Initiated at the first International Green Events Conference in Bonn in November 2010, as a joint initiative of Yourope (the European Festival Association), Bucks New University in the UK, and Jacob Bilabel and Holger Jan Schmidt’s Green Music Initiative, the organisation connects festivals with scientists and environmental initiatives; delivers workshops and contributes to panel discussions; organises festival field trips; and helps certify Yourope’s member festivals as Clean’n’Green, among other activities.

The Netherlands
Green Events International
Formed in 2014, Green Events works with Dutch and international partners to share knowledge, resources, and best practice for event organisers, artists, suppliers, vendors and more. Its areas of focus include water, energy, transport, and waste, with past projects having included the Plastic Promise, which saw leading festivals commit to eliminating single-use plastics, and ADE Green, a ‘green deal’ for European festivals launched at Amsterdam Dance Event 2019.

Norway
Greener Events
Greener Events, in full the Greener Events Foundation, was established in 2009 by international snowboarding ace Terje Håkonsen, and businessman and philanthropist Jan Christian Sundt. Offering environmental consultation and expertise in making events sustainable, Greener Events has worked with events including Tons of Rock, Øya Festival, Hove Festival, and Way Out West in Sweden, and consulted for Yourope and the European Festival Association.

United Kingdom
A Greener Festival
A Greener Festival (AGF) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the sustainability of the events sector. In addition to its annual Green Events and Innovations Conference – which returns for a special summer edition on 16 September – AGF provides certification, training, CO2 analysis, and consultation for organisers, venues, tours, artists, festivals, sports, suppliers, and local authorities for all event types internationally, and also presents the annual International AGF Awards.

LIVE Green
Chaired by John Langford, COO of AEG Europe, LIVE Green is one of four newly formed specialist subcommittees for Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment (LIVE), the umbrella organisation representing 13 UK live music industry associations. Bringing together the leading sustainability practitioners across the sector to produce a single environmental vision for live music, it sits alongside LIVE Touring, LIVE Venues, and an as-yet unnamed group focusing on diversity and inclusion.

SiPA
Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA) is a global association of individuals and organisations across the production sector, including stage managers, manufacturers, tour & production managers, venues, producers, engineers, and technicians, who are working towards creating a sustainable future for the industry and a ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet, and profit. It offers a range of resources free of charge to industry professionals, including ‘ten easy wins’ that can be implemented as a starting point today.

 


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Norway’s 2021 festival season obliterated

Norway’s 2021 festival season has been effectively wiped out with the cancellation of Live Nation-owned festivals Bergenfest and Tons of Rock, Superstruct-backed Øya Festival, Over Oslo, Picnic in the Park, Stavernfetsivalen, Seljord Festival and Country Festival.

The cancellations come after the minister for culture last week (6 May) announced preliminary guidelines which would restrict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August and 10,000 thereafter.

The restrictions come in spite of the government’s NOK 350m festival cancellation pot, which the minister said aims to “create predictability now, so that the industry can start planning different scenarios”.

“There is also uncertainty related to what the economic support schemes that include Bergenfest in practice”

Bergenfest, which would have take place between 15–19 June 2021 at Bergenhus Fortress in Bergen, was cancelled last night.

“With current restrictions on outdoor events in June, it is not possible to complete Bergenfest 2021 as we know the festival. There is also uncertainty related to what the economic support schemes that include Bergenfest in practice. It is therefore unfortunately time to confirm the inevitable – Bergenfest 2021 will not happen in June this year,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

Bergenfest will return between 14–18 June 2022.

Øya Festival, which would have taken place between 10–14 August 2021 at Tøyenparken, Oslo, was cancelled the day after the proposed restrictions were revealed.

“It feels like a little nightmare to have to cancel Øya for the second year in a row”

“It feels like a little nightmare to have to cancel Øya for the second year in a row,” general manager Tonje Kaada wrote on the festival’s website. “Our big wish over the past year has been to gather artists, the audience, festival workers, volunteers and partners for a unique festival experience in Tøyenparken, but it will not be possible with the guidelines that the authorities presented this week.

“There is too much uncertainty associated with the existing framework, and even the best case scenario with 5,000 people, it’s not compatible with the audience experience Øya Festival wants to provide. We have no choice but to realize that it will not be happening in 2021. Even though we are sorry, it is a relief to be able to provide a clarification to everyone who has been waiting for it. We’ll roll up our sleeves and start over now.”

Øya will return between 10–13 August 2022.

Norway is the latest European market to pull the plug on the 2021 festival season, following widespread cancellations in Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Denmark and France.

 


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Norway tests would involve 15k people…staying at home

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is proposing a number of test events that would involve a total of 30,000 people – half of which would not get to attend the concerts.

The Institute is envisaging several indoor concerts – which will most likely take place in Oslo in June – with up to 5,000 unmasked participants.

Both those attending the concert and those who are not will be tested before and after the event in order to compare infection rates at home and in the venue.

“We want a definite answer as to whether infection-testing the audience before they are admitted to a concert makes it as safe to go to a concert as to be at home and watch TV,” says Atle Fretheim who heads the research group at the NIPH.

Various other tests have taken place around Europe, including in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK.

“We want a definite answer as to whether it’s as safe to go to a concert as to be at home and watch TV”

Whether Norway’s test events can go ahead depends on the approval from the health authorities and the regional committee for medical research ethics.

According to Fretheim, the minister for culture’s working group – which includes Bergen Live and Øya Festival – and Norwegian Concert Organisers (Konsertarrangor) have backed the test series.

However, Konsertarrangor’s Tone Østerdal doubts the results will come back quickly enough to have an impact on Norway’s festival summer.

The Stavern Festival and OsloOslo have already been cancelled after the minister for culture announced preliminary guidelines which would restrict festivals to 2,000 attendees until June, 5,000 attendees until August and 10,000 thereafter.

The Danish government this week announced similar restrictions which will restrict events to 2,000 attendees until August, rather than June.

 


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Eventim rolls out fanSALE platform in Scandinavia

CTS Eventim has launched its face-value ticket resale platform, fanSALE, in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

FanSALE is the first fully digital face-value platform in Scandinavia, and is already in use in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Finland and Brazil. In both Norway and Denmark, it is illegal to resell tickets for a profit.

When tickets are resold on the fanSALE platform, the original tickets are cancelled and new tickets issued in a new order, guaranteeing the new tickets and allowing for the resale of personal tickets when people can no longer attend an event.

“With fanSALE, Eventim is taking an important step in Scandinavia to help fans buy and sell tickets safely and legally”

“With fanSALE, Eventim is taking an important step in Scandinavia to help fans buy and sell tickets safely and legally amongst themselves,” says Jens Arnesen, CEO of Eventim Scandinavia.

“FanSALE guarantees that tickets cannot be sold for more than the original ticket price. At the same time, buyers are guaranteed genuine, valid tickets to the event.”

FanSALE is one of a number of capped-price resale services offered by the major international ticketing companies, along with See Tickets’ Fan-to-Fan, AXS’s MarketplaceTicketmaster ticket exchange and Ticketek Marketplace.

 


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